Sworn Virgin

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    Sworn Virgin

    Vergine giurata

    Directed by

    Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Albania, Kosovo


    90 min

    • Albanian
    • Italian


    Berlin IFF

    Hana is growing up in an archaic alpine landscape in Albania where the old codes and traditional gender roles prevail. She escapes the fate of a wife and servant when, in accordance with the Kanun, the traditional Albanian law, she pledges herself to life-long virginity, thus sacrificing her femininity for perceived freedom. From now on, she is treated like a man. She is given a dagger and the name of Mark. But after ten years of seclusion, she decides to change her life and takes the train to Milan, where her sister lives with her family. She is not exactly expecting Hana ... In her debut feature film, Laura Bispuri accompanies a young woman on a difficult and painful odyssey, away from the old-fashioned world of the mountains and into the modern life of the city. The film relays the story of a woman who rediscovers her sexuality and draws on allegorical images to allude to the ambivalences in Hana's emotional life. This empathic study makes do with little dialogue, instead relying on glances, gestures and a protagonist who faces up to her own inconsistencies.


    • The Nora Ephron Prize - Tribeca FF
    • Golden Gate New Directors Prize - San Francisco IFF
    • FIPRESCI Award - Kraków OFF Plus Camera
    • Firebird Award (Young Filmmakers' Competition) - Hong Kong FF


    Labels & Line Ups


    Alba Rohrwacher
    Flonja Kodheli
    Lars Eidinger
    Luan Jaha
    Bruno Shllaku
    Ilire Celaj
    Drenica Selimaj
    Dajana Selimaj
    Emily Ferratello
    Francesca Manieri
    Laura Bispuri
    Vladan Radovic
    Carlotta Cristiani
    Jacopo Quadri
    Nando Di Cosimo


    Rohrwacher gives a remarkably delicate performance.

    Bénédicte Prot, Cineuropa

    Laura Bispuri's debut feature is a solemn, sensitive study of transgender reversal.

    Guy Lodge, Variety

    Alba Rohrwacher has some of the charisma of a young Tilda Swinton.

    Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter

    Laura Bispuri

    Laura Bispuri


    After earning a degree in Cinema at ‘La Sapienza’ University of Rome, Laura Bispuri’s short film PASSING TIME won the David di Donatello Award for Best Short Film in 2010 and was selected as one of the best international shorts by the Academié des César in Paris. Her next short, BIONDINA, was awarded the Silver Ribbon Award for most promising director. Laura’s first feature film SWORN VIRGIN premiered in Competition at the Berlinale in 2015. It was presented in more than 80 festivals worldwide and received numerous awards, including the prestigious Nora Ephron Prize at the Tribeca Film Festival, the Golden Gate New Directors Prize in San Francisco, the Firebird Award in Hong Kong, the FIPRESCI Award in Krakow and a Globo d’oro, assigned by the Italian foreign press association. The film was also included in the renowned ‘New Authors’ section of the AFI Festival in Los Angeles.

    Selected Filmography